Six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt held a bouquet of flowers at the end of the 200-meters race, but spoke as if he never left the starting block.
Self-criticism and apologies were all he could muster following his victory at Saturday’s Adidas New York City Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium.
“I think because I’ve been training so good and then I come to competition and I’m not executing right — that’s the only thing I’m worried about,” Bolt said.
“I told you guys [earlier] that I was feeling good, everything was going smooth . . . I ran yesterday, my coach was happy, I was happy. I don’t know what happened today.”
Bolt finished with a time of 20.29 seconds. He remains the 200-meters world record holder, with a mark of 19.19, set in 2009.
Out of the No. 5 lane, Bolt took an early lead and kept the momentum into the turn, despite some of the strongest headwinds of the hot and humid day.
He said he wasn’t worried about competitors, otherwise he would have been “trying to get home” in the dying seconds of the race. The day was ultimately a time trial, which is why he “gave up” after the turn, where he coasted to a win.
It was different when Bolt came to town in 2008, before he had won any gold medals and before he was an international star. That’s when he set his first world record, clocking 9.72 in the 100.
“Well, I was in way better shape,” Bolt, 28, said matter-of-factly while reflecting on his last appearance at Randall’s Island. “I had no injury problems, so those are the two main things. It was much cooler than this, but I enjoy running in warm weather so it’s OK.”
Bolt deflected questions about the 2016 Rio Olympics, saying that his first order of business is to “buckle down,” to improve his results in the near future.
Said Bolt: “For me, I don’t think it could be physical. My mental game, I know is strong, so it’s just one of those days I guess.”
Record-setter. Jonah Gorevic, an 11-year-old from Rye, set an age group world record in the youth boys mile, running a 4:51.85.